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Videogame Backlog 002: All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation 2, Prince of Tennis: 2003 Cool Blue and .hack/Link

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For videogame backlog 002, I randomly selected the following games to try for the week:  All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation 2 for the Sony PSP, Prince of Tennis: 2003 Cool Blue for the GBA and .hack//Link for the Sony PSP.

It’s important to note that all three games are import and will play on a GameBoy Advance, first and second Nintendo DS and Sony PSP games on a PSP console.

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Let’s kick things off with “Tennis no Oujisama: 2003 Cool Blue” or “Prince of Tennis: 2003 Cool Blue” from Konami for the GameBoy Advance.

With “Prince of Tennis 2005″ Crystal Drive” being the best game I had played for the series, years earlier I had a chance to try the 2003 and 2004 GBA games and somehow forgot all about them.

I do enjoy tennis games and I do enjoy the “Prince of Tennis” manga and anime series, so I look forward to playing the game.

Back in 2003, the 2003 game was split into two games “Passion Red” and “Cool Blue”.  The developers promised to include more special moves and include rival schools Fudomine, Yamabuki, St. Rudolph and Hyotei.  And of course, the players from Seigaku.

But the players are split into two games, so unlike “Crystal Drive” that was a complete game, the 2003 games required fans to buy both games.

For Cool Blue, you get to play Seigaku, Fudomine Middle School and St. Rudolph, while Yamabuki Middle School and Hyotei Academy are in Passion Red.

The game is pretty much straightforward.  Play a tournament, single player or doubles and with each play, you can open up extra characters.

For tournament mode, I played with Echizen and after five matches, the game ended with the ending credits and that was it.  Played single player and the same situation.

The game was fairly easy but since I was playing with a GameBoy Advance Mini, playing on the top side made it a bit difficult.  But managed to win the matches just fine.

A simple but enjoyable tennis game (with special moves) overall.

Last but not least, the game is import friendly and you don’t have to read anything to figure it out.

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“All Kamen Rider – Rider Generation 2” from Bandai is a fighting game in a similar style to a 2D fighting sidescrolling video game (Beat ’em up) such as “Final Fight”.

The game is available on the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS.

The characters are presented in SD format and come with a variety of special moves, a super move and a combo/partner move.

You start off with Kamen Rider Fourze and Kamen Rider Meteor and with each level, you open up additional Kamen Riders from the past.  Part of the hype that accompanied the game was the fact that Kamen Rider Wizard would be making an appearance in the game.

The game progresses as a character moves from left to right and with each level, you can select to fight in the easiest, normal or difficult level.

In easy mode, the enemies are too easy.  Backgrounds are often re-used and featured in day or night (which is possibly the low factor in the game).  The game has an announcer who directs the player to go right or that your max super move is ready to be utilized.

Each enemy you defeat drops coins, which you can use to purchase a variety of things at the shop that will increase a Kamen Rider’s special ability or increase attack or defense strength.

The game is quite tedious, as it feels repetitive but fortunately, with so many Kamen Rider characters, it helps to have that variety utilizing these characters in battle.

With each world, there are five to six levels and one major boss.  The bosses ten to take up most of the screen but it’s all about not getting hit and when the enemy misses, giving the enemy all you got and repeat.

Some players who love to grind will find themselves utilizing many characters in order to level them higher.

For the most part, this game is strictly fan service for “Kamen Rider” fans.  I love games that try to bring all Kamen Rider characters together and love the fact that for some characters, you get to see several of their modes in this game.

Last but not least, the game is import friendly.  While those who can’t read Japanese might find the shop items to be difficult to know which to buy, you can find translations of the shop online.

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For “.hack//Link” by Bandai, the Limited Edition version of the game is rather awesome.

Created to be the final chapter of the “.hack” series, the video game was created to be like a manga series with art by Megane Kikuya and an original story by CyberConnect 2.

You get a “.hack Epitaph of the Old Testament” 98-page booklet with interviews with the creators and history of the “.hack” series.

You get a “.hack Epitaph of the New Testament” 68-page booklet with interviews with the creators of the new “.hack” video game series, its characters and sketches.

For the DVD, “.hack//historical disc”, has over 2 hours of excerpts from “.hack//SIGN”, “.hack//Liminality”, “.hack”, “.hack//”, “.hack//Roots” and “.hack//G.U.”.

For the Blu-ray release of “.hack//re-birth Disc”, you get the first episodes of “.hack//SIGN”, “.hack//Liminality”, “.hack/GIFT”, “.hack//Tasogare noUdewa Densetsu”, “.hack//Roots”, “.hack//G.U. Returner” and “.hack//Lin Radio 2 jyanai to” live recording of the radio session.

“.hack//Link” is an interesting game.  The story takes place in the year 2020, three years after the events of “.hack//G.U.” and takes place in a new version of “The World” known as “The World R:X”.

The protagonist is Tokio Kuryuu who is a gamer and meets the new girl at his high school named Saika Amagi.  When she takes Tokio to the rooftop, she sends his consciousness and real body to “The World R:X” and where he encounters characters from “The World” and experiences part of its history but something has gone awry and characters are not acting as they should be.

Tokio ends up teaming up with familiar faces such as the legendary hero, Kite and Mimiru.

The game kicked off with training for Tokio and when you enter “The World R:X”, you go through many storylines like a manga which feature quite a bit of dialogue and seeing something bad happening to Kite.  As Tokio goes off to further his adventures in “The World R:X”, I ran into Mimiru and was fighting a boss level.

Unlike the other “.hack” games, you can only play with two characters at a time but supposedly there are 30 characters from all “.hack” series that can join Tokio.

If there is one thing that gets tedious is the Juggle Combo feature in which you have to hit a button and makes sure it lands in an area (almost like a rhythm game) to perform combos, but you have to keep doing it over and over.  If you mess up, you take damage.

But the worse part I think about the game is it suffers from camera issues, I found myself trying to battle a boss and having to deal with bad camera and it really ruined my enjoyment of the game.

While the storyline for the game was enjoyable (and revealed a lot about “The Word”), the story was more or less fan service for those who followed the “.hack” series because it incorporates all “.hack” media. But as for the gameplay, it felt too repetitive.

A bit of a shame because this release and CyberConnect 2 really did its best to incorporate all that we love about “.hack” and incorporating many characters from various series (video game, anime, manga, etc.), but it strayed too far from what people enjoyed of the previous games.

Unfortunately, this is not an import friendly game in the context of the story which is important to enjoy the game.  But in the context of playing the game itself, people can easily figure the game out.

Onto the next Videogame backlog!